MUS 115 Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music (Not offered 2004-2005)

Twentieth-century Euro-American art music involved a persistent exploration of the limits of musical possibility. Encounters with this music often challenge our ears and musical minds and require us to reconsider fundamental conceptions of music itself. Throughout the course, we will investigate in what ways the basic elements of music (e.g., harmonic organization, rhythm, timbre, instrumentation and performance conventions) were extended and revolutionized. Topics and styles to be discussed include: atonality, expressionism, twelve-tone techniques, neoclassicism, electronic and computer music, stochastic music, minimalism, and neoromanticism. We will also consider the music of this century in relation to contemporary developments in the other arts and to popular musical styles. The syllabus will include works by such composers as Debussy, Mahler, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, Bartok, Weill, Milhaud, Shostakovich, Ives, Copland, Babbitt, Stockhausen, Messiaen, Boulez, Berio, Cage, Gorecki, and Glass. Format: lecture/discussion. Evaluation will be based on two tests, two short papers, and a final exam. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 20.